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R.I. Workplaces To Go smoke-free On March 1

Publication Date: 2005-02-18
  • Publication:The (Westerly, RI) Day
Westerly--­ A new statewide ban on smoking in most workplaces and public spaces takes effect here in less than two weeks, and bar owners are alternatively embracing ­ and bracing ­ for the measure.

The Public Places and Workplace Safety Law, signed last June by Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, prohibits smoking in most bars and restaurants starting March 1. Those with class C or D licenses and fewer than 10 employees ­ including private clubs such as the Elks or Veterans of Foreign Wars and bars that don't serve food ­ will have to comply starting Oct. 1, 2006.

At least half the rooms at hotels and motels must be smoke-free under the new law, and smoking is banned at workplaces ranging from municipal buildings to indoor and outdoor stadiums and playing fields.